With one third of Australia’s public servants becoming eligible for retirement over the next decade, beyond taking a standard Defined Benefit pension, most don’t realise the options they have, to maximise their retirement incomes. 

Prior to the establishment of Marinis Financial Group I was a member of the CSS, and my wife, Julie, was a PSS member. I can recall hearing time and again from my wiser, older colleagues about the ‘fabulous’ option of resigning at 54 years and 11 months – and the huge CSS retirement benefits to be gained one month later.  

From the perspective of my career within the ATO, Centrelink and the Insurance & Superannuation Commission, my work required me to understand, and explain the workings of both the CSS and the PSS (along with the various Super SA funds, UniSuper and DFRDB) Defined Benefit funds and their interaction with the tax and social security systems.

Years on, I realised that my ‘wiser’ older colleagues were not so well informed. They were either ignoring (or unaware of) the many complimentary opportunities available to them if they did NOT simply take the maximum possible Defined benefit pension option the Government offered them.

Now, to lay my cards completely on the table, I’m also a little bit suspicious of Government promises. Coming from a migrant family, I have been shocked to see how parliaments in Europe have cut the pensions of former public servants as a way of balancing budgets, regardless of commitments made to them. As retirees, they had little leverage. 

I recommend, therefore, taking personal responsibility.

Over the years I have distributed various media releases and have been quoted regularly in various newspapers, magazines and other forums on all the previously mentioned Defined Benefit super funds. 

As a former public servant with 20 years financial planning experience, I believe I understand the topic better than most.

To help public servants facing retirement in the coming years, I recently decided to collate my material via a single web page, and to make it freely available for people considering their options.

My resulting major discussion paper ‘Does financial planning work for public servants?’ is a reflection on several real-life Defined Benefit case studies released on this subject, with the emphasis on ‘Did we add value?’

I was delighted with the longer term outcomes, and I think you will also be surprised by the results.

You can read this discussion paper (including the earlier Media Releases and various newspaper, magazine and forum articles) below. For ease of reading, it has been broken down into sections which deal with each case study individually. Please feel free to read each one, or only those relevant to your situation (or none at all) as you see fit.

The sooner the conversation starts, the better the outcome – so if you want to have an initial conversation, then feel free to contact me. There is no charge for this. If you like what I suggest, I am confident you will have a great retirement – and you may be able to achieve your goals sooner.

And I know that all our Defined Benefit super clients are also very happy with the advice we have provided over the years, and are thoroughly enjoying already (or working towards) happy retirements.


Theo Marinis BA BEc CPA FPA
Financial Strategist

Further Reading

Get in touch

You can call Theo Marinis on (08) 8130 5130 and he would be happy to discuss your situation and how he and his firm can assist you to navigate the Defined Benefits Super and 54/11 minefield.

NOTE: Marinis Financial Group quote and charge clients a flat dollar fee based on the work needed to be done on their behalf. We make our charges clear at the start of our relationship. Should you want ongoing financial planning advice we charge an annual flat dollar fee based on the level of ongoing service you require. We always make it very clear how much we save a client when we propose a strategy so the value of our advice is very clear.

The information in this article reflects Theo Marinis’ understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue.  While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way.  The information is not, nor is it intended to be comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice on specific circumstances.
The information given in this article is of a general nature and has not taken into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person.  Before making an investment decision on the basis of the advice above, a prospective investor needs to consider, with or without the assistance of a professional adviser whether the advice is appropriate in the light of their particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.